Unlocking Success: The Role of Planning and Strategy in Out-of-Home Advertising

Planning in Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising involves a meticulous process encompassing various key elements. These elements include:

Knowing the Brand and its Business: Understanding the brand’s values, positioning, messaging, and target audience is fundamental in OOH planning. Planners need to deeply understand the brand’s identity, personality, and marketing goals. This includes understanding the brand’s business objectives, marketing strategy, and the desired outcomes of the OOH campaign. This knowledge is the foundation for developing a well-aligned and effective OOH plan.

Objective of the Campaign: Clearly defining the campaign objectives is a critical step in OOH planning. Campaign objectives set the direction and purpose of the entire planning process. Whether the objective is to create awareness, drive engagement, promote a product, or deliver a specific message, it must be well-defined and aligned with the brand’s overall marketing strategy. The campaign objectives guide the selection of OOH media channels, creative messaging, and other campaign elements to ensure that they align with the desired outcomes.

Knowing the Market, Audience, and Media Landscape: Understanding the market, target audience and media landscape is crucial in OOH planning. Planners conduct thorough market research to identify the market dynamics, consumer behaviours, preferences, and perceptions of the OOH medium. This includes understanding the demographics, psychographics, and behaviours of the target audience, as well as their preferences and engagement patterns with OOH media. Additionally, understanding the media landscape, including the availability, pricing, and performance of different OOH media options, is essential in developing a well-informed and impactful OOH plan.

Budget Allocation: Budget allocation is a crucial aspect of OOH planning. Planners work closely with brand managers and stakeholders to allocate the budget effectively across different OOH media channels, formats, and locations. Budget optimisation ensures the campaign objectives are met within the allocated resources. This involves analysing the costs and performance of different media options, negotiating pricing with media owners, and making strategic decisions to optimise the budget for maximum impact.

By considering these key elements – knowing the brand and its business, defining campaign objectives, understanding the market, audience, and media landscape, and effective budget allocation – OOH planning can be well-structured, data-driven, and result-oriented. It ensures that the OOH campaign is aligned with the brand’s marketing strategy, delivers the desired outcomes, and maximises the impact on the target audience.


In OOH planning, a significant amount of manual intervention is often required due to several factors. These factors include the static nature of OOH media, the fragmented landscape of OOH inventory, the dependence on media partners for information, and the price sensitivity of OOH advertising.

Static Media: Unlike digital media that can be easily updated or modified in real-time, OOH media is typically static in nature. Once an OOH ad is displayed, it remains unchanged for the campaign’s duration. This means that careful planning is required upfront to ensure that the creative messaging, visuals, and other ad elements are compelling and relevant for the entire campaign duration. Any changes or updates to the creative elements may require additional production costs and coordination with media partners, resulting in manual intervention in the planning process.

Fragmented Inventory: The OOH inventory is highly fragmented, with numerous media owners, operators, and vendors offering various media formats, such as billboards, transit ads, street furniture, and more. Each media owner may have different pricing, availability, and targeting options, making it challenging to streamline and optimise the media plan. OOH, planners need to manually research, evaluate, and negotiate with multiple media partners to identify the most suitable media options for the campaign, resulting in manual intervention in the planning process.

Dependence on Media Partners for Information: OOH planners often rely on media partners for critical information such as audience demographics, traffic data, ad placement details, and performance metrics. Media partners are responsible for providing accurate and timely information that forms the basis of the OOH plan. However, due to the complex nature of OOH advertising, obtaining reliable and comprehensive information from media partners can be challenging. OOH planners must proactively communicate and coordinate with media partners, resulting in manual intervention to ensure the planning decisions are based on accurate and up-to-date information.

Price Sensitivity: OOH advertising is often price-sensitive, with budgets allocated based on the cost per impression (CPM) or other performance metrics. OOH planners must carefully evaluate the pricing options different media partners offer and negotiate to obtain the best value for the allocated budget. This involves manual intervention in price negotiations, analysing cost-performance ratios, and making strategic decisions to optimise the budget allocation and achieve the desired campaign objectives.

Regional Buyers: In OOH planning, teams often need to communicate with regional buyers to gain insights into the local market landscape and establish relationships with media owners. Regional buyers possess valuable knowledge about the market dynamics, audience preferences, and media inventory available in their region. They can provide valuable input on local traffic patterns, cultural nuances, and competitor presence, influencing planning decisions. Building relationships with media owners is crucial for obtaining favourable pricing, securing prime ad placements, and accessing exclusive opportunities. Effective communication with regional buyers and understanding their insights and relationships with media owners is an important aspect of OOH planning to ensure that the campaign is tailored to the local market and optimised for success.

Despite the challenges that require manual intervention in the planning process, OOH agencies and planners have developed planning tools and technologies that assist in streamlining and optimising the planning process. These tools enable data-driven decision-making, automation of certain tasks, and efficient coordination with media partners. However, the unique characteristics of OOH media, such as its static nature, fragmented inventory, reliance on media partners for information, and price sensitivity, continue to necessitate manual intervention in the planning process to ensure a well-executed and effective OOH campaign.

The Role of OOH Specialists in Crafting Effective Campaign Strategies

In OOH planning, the strategy is typically derived by the account planners who work closely with brand managers. They decode the campaign brief, delve into the requirements, and create comprehensive media plans. This involves allocating budgets, identifying optimal ad placements, and selecting the right OOH formats and channels to achieve the campaign objective.

However, an important question arises: are these account planners OOH specialists? Do they truly understand the dynamics of the medium? Do they have access to specialised planning tools? The involvement of OOH specialists in the planning process is crucial for ensuring a successful campaign. OOH specialists possess in-depth knowledge of the OOH medium, including audience behaviour, market trends, media landscape, and pricing structures. They are familiar with planning tools and techniques specific to OOH, such as audience measurement, location-based targeting, and impact assessment.

The level of involvement of OOH specialists in the planning process may vary. Ideally, OOH specialists should be involved right from the beginning of the planning process, collaborating closely with brand managers and account planners to develop an OOH strategy that aligns with the campaign objectives. This allows for a more strategic approach to OOH planning, considering the medium’s unique characteristics and optimising the campaign for maximum effectiveness.

However, in some cases, OOH specialists may be involved post-allocating the budget, where their role is to deliver the campaign within the given budget constraints. While this approach can still yield results, it may not fully leverage the potential of OOH as a medium.

Effective OOH planning goes beyond simply making a media plan within a budget. It involves understanding the brand manager and CMO’s interests and expectations for the brand, knowing the target audience and how they perceive the medium, and developing strategies to deliver the message to the audience effectively. OOH specialists play a crucial role in this process, bringing their expertise and insights to create a well-informed and strategic OOH campaign that delivers on the campaign objectives and maximises the impact of the brand’s message in the OOH space.

As you embark on your OOH campaign planning journey, remember that it’s not just about creating a media plan within a budget. It’s about understanding your brand, your audience, and the dynamics of the OOH medium. Make sure to involve OOH specialists from the beginning, work closely with brand managers, and leverage planning tools and data to craft effective strategies that align with your campaign objectives. Don’t underestimate the power of strategic planning in delivering impactful OOH campaigns. Partner with experts who deeply understand the medium and can help you unlock its full potential. Contact us now to learn how our team of OOH specialists can support your campaign planning needs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *